Wei Yan

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Wei Yan

Unread postby Wolong Zhuge » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:02 am

I think that Wei Yan isnt a trustworthy person since he betray 2 masters.During the Northern Campaigns he proposes the shorter route to Chang'an however since it was a risky and dangerous path with mountains Zhuge Liang didnt take that cos if Wei Yan take that path he would be surrounded or ambushed or attacked from 2 sides.After that during another Northern campaign he and Chen Shi disobeyed Zhuge Liang orders to withdraw from Xie or Jie Valley as they were going to attack it and then Chen Shi was execeted for disobeying orders and Wei Yan wasnt execeted it means Zhuge Liang needs him since he the few veterans generals they have.So Wei Yan Deserves death after Zhuge Liang death the story of how he die is good for Shu.
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Unread postby Jordan » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:22 am

I don't know if Wei Yan's Chang'an plan would have succeeded or not. Honestly, I don't think there's any way to know. On one hand, Wei Yan was an excellent general, so a great case could be made for why he would be able to seize Chang'an and hold it until reinforcements came. Gan Ning once took a castle from Wei and held out a long time until Zhou Yu and other forces came to assist him. I think he would be able to wrest it from Xiahou Mao, because of the sudden-ness of the attack, and then, since siege battles were often difficult, he might be able to hold off Wei until Zhuge Liang came and reinforced him.

Yet, on the other hand, one reason that Zhuge Liang lost at Jieting is because his reinforcements for Ma Su were too far away to come and assist his beleagured ally. Given that, maybe Zhuge Liang would not have arrived in time, like at Jieting, to help Wei Yan, and then Zhang He and other Wei generals could defeat Wei Yan before Zhuge came to help him secure Chang'an.
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Unread postby Dong Zhou » Fri Jan 26, 2007 7:23 am

Wei Yan deserved to die, according to standards of his time, for diffirent reasons but first to clear up some of the novel's character assisiniation in his defence. Wei Yan, in history, only served Liu Bei and Liu Shan in his life, he also never disobeyed orders until his revolt. While he was a valient and expirenced general, he was exceddingly arrogant as shown by his Chang An plan and when he tried to sieze command of the army, he had to be punished.

Even so, would have been intresting to see what punishment Liu Shan would have given since he did seem reluctent to execute people
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Unread postby Sun Gongli » Fri Jan 26, 2007 9:45 am

In history, Wei Yan never betrayed anybody, as Han Xuan surrendered to Liu Bei without a battle. He simply was insubordinate. He felt that Yang Yi's rush to retreat was stupid (which it was - better to hide Zhuge's death and continue the battle) and tried to take control of the battle himself and kill the people he saw as guilty of "dereliction of duty."

I won't argue that Wei Yan was arrogant, but so were a lot of Shu generals.
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Unread postby ZhaoZiLon » Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:20 pm

SlickSlicer wrote:I don't know if Wei Yan's Chang'an plan would have succeeded or not. Honestly, I don't think there's any way to know. On one hand, Wei Yan was an excellent general, so a great case could be made for why he would be able to seize Chang'an and hold it until reinforcements came. Gan Ning once took a castle from Wei and held out a long time until Zhou Yu and other forces came to assist him. I think he would be able to wrest it from Xiahou Mao, because of the sudden-ness of the attack, and then, since siege battles were often difficult, he might be able to hold off Wei until Zhuge Liang came and reinforced him.

Yet, on the other hand, one reason that Zhuge Liang lost at Jieting is because his reinforcements for Ma Su were too far away to come and assist his beleagured ally. Given that, maybe Zhuge Liang would not have arrived in time, like at Jieting, to help Wei Yan, and then Zhang He and other Wei generals could defeat Wei Yan before Zhuge came to help him secure Chang'an.


Wei Yan's plan of seizing Chang An is a risky plan. It involves going through a narrow passage where there is no natural cover, and the whole army is vulnerable to ambush at that point.
Xiahou Mao is supposedly a weakling, but who's there so say there isn't a few good man next to him?
At the end of the day, Zhuge Liang had two few cards to play, and he did not want to go with the risky option. He wanted to take things step-by-step, hoping to first securing Liang province so to provide more leverage to Shu's advance.
Also, Wei Yan might hold a grudge against for Zhuge Liang not using his plan, but I'm sure this isn't the only plan that Zhuge Liang has not adopted from his generals. Wei holding a grudge does not deserve to die, neither does being arrogant deserve it either.
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Unread postby Exar Kun » Fri Jan 26, 2007 10:47 pm

Sun Gongli wrote:In history, Wei Yan never betrayed anybody


Ahaha! He betrayed the state.
He burned the plank roads and he attacked Yang Yi's force without any provocation. He maliciously destroyed state property and he attacked units that were carrying out the lawful orders given by Kongming before his death.

Did Wei Yan have to sign a statement of intent to rebel before you'd have believed it?
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Re: Wei Yan

Unread postby ZhaoZiLon » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:19 pm

I like this topic. I can talk for hours and hours on this. :)

My $0.02.
- Wei Yan was an excellent general. Most of KongMing's success are really due to this braveness and execution. Like Sima Yi, KongMing is the overall commander, and hence not always at the front-line. KongMing and Sima Yi sets overall strategies and worry about operational stuff like chasing up food/supplies etc, whereas Wei Yan was the guy who really did all the day-to-day fighting and the dirty work. Many times KongMing sends a message to Wei Yan saying 'watch for Wei attack tonight', or 'check for ambush before advancing', only Wei Yan knew how to execute everytime without flaws.
- Wei Yan is extremely loyal to Liu Bei. He might have served different lords but so as Guan Yu, Zhao Yun, Zhang Liao, Tai Shi Chi, Jiang Wei....oh the list goes on. He has contributed many success to Shu and has been one of the key Shu general ever since Liu Bei took the Shu province.
- Wei Yan is a on-the-ground leader. If he is a modern day general he'll be the type that you'll see drinking beer/throwing darts at a pub with 'his boys', as he would prefered to call his soilders. He is arrogant about his strength and his army, and certainly does not get along with the accounting guys from 'the head office'. One of the accounting guys was Yang Yi. They have been known to have furious arguments, and that one time when it got heated, Wei Yan took out his knife, shuff it next to this nose and ask Yang Yi whether he can smell blood stinks from shaving off heads of thousands Wei soilders. Yang Yi begged for his mercy and started crying. KongMing saw all this, shake his head, and told them both to go cool off. In truth, there was little KongMing can do. He needed Wei Yan and he needed Yang Yi.
- Just before KongMing knew he was about to pass away, he left instructions for Wei Yan to protect Shu's retreat. He specifically asked that Wei Yan to 'reverse their flags' and attack if Sima Yi comes and checks on the retreat. He left these instructions because he knew Sima Yi had no intention to engage, but only to see whether Shu's leaving in a rush. Indeed, Sima Yi have been in hiding for the past 6 months and have not engaged Shu at all even if KongMing sends him woman clothing. He left the control of the main army to Yang Yi.
- Knowing his past history with Wei Yan, Yang Yi send Fei Wei to the front-camp to deliver the message to Wei Yan. At that time Fei Wei was one of the up-and-commers in the government rank so it is obvious that Yang is trying to give as much 'face' to Wei as possible. Upon hearing the message, Wei Yan was furious. He doesn't understand why they are retreating. He's thinking, 'Didn't we just kill three thousand Wei soilders a month ago? They are scared to death! He questioned further whose idea was this, and Fei Wei let it slipped that Yang Yi is now running the show. What?! that little bastard who drooled on my knive? That's it something is wrong. The Prime Minister must be confused during his last hours and was bewitched by the bastard. I must make things right before Shu's downfall. Now that Prime Minister is no longer here only I can continue in his path'
- He gave order to his camp to start packing. 'Where we going boss?'. He thinks about his options. He can certainly go join Wei. He's killed many of their soilders, but to desmonstrate to the rest of the world that Wei's a great kingdom, they'll welcome him greatly and probably send him to attack Shu. He'll get his revenge against Yang Yi there....but instead of that, he gave orders to take the much more dangerous, much longer way and go around the main Shu camp. My guess is he wanted to explain to Liu Chan himself and declare his intention, and also warn Liu Chan about Yang Yi. He knows that the main army might/will catch up with them, so he also orders his army to burn the road once they have passed thru. He's thinking if I hurry I can make it back to Liu Chan before Yang Yi...I'll be in trouble but the lord would understand. We'll regroup and have another go at Wei again.
- The main army finally caught up. Wang Ping lead the charge and accused the soilders underneath Wei Yan for treason...and the soilders panicked. They did not understand what they were doing, and they certainly did not want to fight aginst their own. One by one they left. Only then Wei Yan realised what he has done. There is nothing he can do now. Wei would no longer welcome him and Liu Chan was never going to 'understand'. He hide out in the mountain and hope to figure out his next move. Before long he was arrested by Ma Dai. His small glimpse of hope of explaining everything to Liu Chan was vanquished, when he knows that Yang Yi has ordered to execute him on the spot. He thinks about his family, the Prime Minister, his boys...but its all too late.
- Yang Yi returned to Shu as a hero. He's thinking about what he might do next...prime minister? He's already making plans about Shu's next military campaign. Suddenly message came that, under the last orders of Zhuge Liang, Zhang Yun was now the Top General and would take control of the government. Furthermore, Zhuge Liang also specified Fei Wei was to follow Zhang Yun, and Dong Wan was after Fei....he didn't even make the list. He finally understood that Zhuge Liang never had bigger plans for the accounting guy. He's devastated. 'Who's Zhang Yun anyway? We probably should have joined Wei if we had the chance' he commented to Fei Wei once when he was looking for another loser's shoulder to cry on, wrongly thinking that Fei might be just as devastated as he is. Fei has never heard such rediculous comments in his life from a high government official, and he had no choice but to report it to Liu Chan. Liu Chan got the easiest task of that day. He sent Yang Yi off to the chops, and went back to bed.
- In my opinion Wei Yan is one of the greatest generals in the 3k era. But due to his hot-headedness, he dug and even hammered in the nails on his own grave.
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Unread postby Chris the King » Fri Jan 26, 2007 11:32 pm

The depiction of Wei Yan has always been one of the more confusing things about the novel to me, just as it is with some others here. Throughout the story Wei Yan follows orders, and he excels in every mission. He risks his own neck to follow Liu Bei, and we really don't see any inkling of treasonous behavior. We only hear from Zhuge Liang and Sima Yi (or was it Zhao) that Wei Yan did not act out of fear of Zhuge Liang. Then, after Zhuge Liang dies, Wei Yan suddenly busts out with all this crazy stuff, and he becomes extremely obnoxious ("Who dares slay me!"). His Ziwu plan was aggressive, but I don't think it was overly arrogant of Wei Yan. I wish Luo, the author, would have added some hints through Wei Yan's own actions to make him more sinister, if that's how he was going to end up, cus the whole thing just turned out weird to me.
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Unread postby Davey Vengeance » Sat Jan 27, 2007 12:49 pm

I always had the view that Wei Yan never really betrayed anyone just disobeyed orders. Wei Yan was never executed for disobeying orders was he?

Did Ma Su get executed for not following orders?

I always pictured Wei Yan of just not being obedient.
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Unread postby James » Sat Jan 27, 2007 4:32 pm

I don't know. The events SlickSlicer described above sound a lot like betrayal to me.
The thing about disobedience is that once it crosses a line it becomes betrayal.

The trouble is that we're the ones who pick that line's location.
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